It’s pretty hard to miss the distinctive green and white striped awning of Café du Monde in the French Market. The name is French for Café of the World and they’ve been serving beignets and coffee here since 1862, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the only exception is Christmas day.
The first thing you need to know about these pillowy deep-fried puffs of goodness is that they are beloved by almost every New Orleanian. Yes, that’s what locals are called, New Orleanians. My earliest memory of the French Quarter included a visit to Café du Monde where a wondrous small plate of three beignets, (pronounced: ben-yays) generously sprinkled with powdered sugar, was placed before me. That first bite of beignet is emblazoned in my memory forever. A beignet is really the local way of preparing fried dough. Other places make similar treats and call them zeppoles,funnel cakes,or sopapillas. It’s all the same: fried dough covered in powdered sugar. Yummy. Of course,they are messy,but they sure are fun to eat!
You never know what you will get when you bite into one. Some are light, airy and empty inside. Some are flat, dense and chewy.
There’s also the kind that someone stole a bite from before you could stop them.
What You Need To Know
- Order a serving for each person. You will be thinking how can I eat three beignets, trust me on this, you will. Be warned, once you sprinkle them with powdered sugar, things can get pretty messy. Most everyone ends up with a little powdered sugar on his or her clothes or face!
- Don’t forget the Café au lait, it’s a coffee, chicory. and hot milk. Delicious! Be sure to dunk your beignet in the au lait.
- Children usually get chocolate or white milk or juice. And if your server doesn’t bring it, be sure to ask him/her for water. Most everyone is thirsty after their beignet encounter, besides, the glasses or cute and small and it’s what the locals do.
- There are several locations through the Metro area so visit their site for hours and locations. The French Quarter location is cash only.